Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A book in the hand

I have been struck by how many of our old adages and aphorisms have to do with books, reading and libraries. There's "You can't tell a book by its cover" and "A book in the hand is worth two in the bush" (Duh! Water damage!). "Judge not lest ye be judged." is, of course, about library work but interestingly applies to other things as well. "The longest book begins with a single page" was so popular it was stolen and retrofitted by the travel industry, and I know there's more, buy my mind is blank. The well has run dry. But "When memory fails the Library is there to catch you." So I went and got a book on aphorisms, adages, proverbs and sayings, and I found these:

A book that remains shut is but a block. (I like this one.)

A fancy cover doesn't make a fancy book. (Doesn't this sort of depend on you definition of "fancy"? If it's really 'fancy' and not 'good' I've got to at least demur enough to say a fancy cover is at least a pretty good indicator of a fancy book.)

Books breed like flies and die as fast. (Oh, burn!)

He who throws boomerangs should learn to duck. (Oops, I think I've drifted past the "Book" section and entered the "Boomerang" section. Did you ever notice how many of our old adages and aphorisms have to do with boomerangs and kangaroos?).

Anyway, I looked up the meaning of  "adage" and came up with... An adage is a short but memorable saying which holds some important fact of experience that is considered true by many people, or that has gained some credibility through its long use. This made me wonder how true these are in practice and I decided to try testing some of these in the real world to see how they hold up. Can you judge a book by its cover? I don't know for sure without scientific testing, but since "A brief account is the best account" and "A blogger who blogs too long may not blog when tomorrows blogging comes due" I am thinking I will commence with this project on a blog post to come. All of the flowers that bloom tomorrow, are in the seeds of today.


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